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Effective Survey Tips

Here are some quick tips and ideas for creating surveys.

Keep it simple

Be sure your question's wording is clear and concise. The questions should be easy to understand and easy to answer without confusion. Omit needless words and response selections.

Target Your Audience

Know who your audience is and specifically target them for survey responses. It need not be on an individual basis. For instance, it may be fisherman, cyclists or sports fans instead of the general population. By doing so, you will improve your survey response rate as well as improve the quality of the information collected.

Consider a follow-up survey

Consider performing a follow-up survey, especially if an enthusiastic response was received from the first. The more you build on the survey feedback you receive, the more insightful and of greater value will be the information you collect. Use the responses from the first survey to tailor a new survey that will help you do a deeper dive into the information of interest to you.

Consider A/B Testing

A/B testing, which is also known as "split testing" and "bucket testing" entails subjecting two survey versions to experimentation simultaneously. To do so, divide a small sample of your target demographic among the two test surveys. You then measure which version was more successful and select that version for real-world use. By doing so you will know which of the two survey has a more optimal presentation and content with the goal of yielding the best survey results.

Manage Expectations

Please do inform the targeted responders what they should expect taking this survey. For instance, indicate about how long, on average, it takes to complete a survey. Mention to them why this survey is important - to them and to you. By managing and setting their expectations, you will improve your survey's response rate and improve the quality of information collected.

Do a test run

Test out your survey on a small sample of respondents. Usually between 5 to 10 people will suffice. Use their feedback to revise and refine your survey. By doing this step, it will improve your survey's response rate and the data collected will be of greater value.

Experiment with Survey Formats

Using a targeted sample of responders, release a survey containing only a few questions and then another, longer survey containing questions. Additionally, you may want to experiment with the survey question layout by grouping questions onto pages, or displaying them all at once, or displaying one question at a time. Discover how these design considerations affects the results of the survey, and then tailor your next survey accordingly. Look for the optimum question count or style of survey that yields the highest response rate.

Use Incentives

Consider providing an incentive to your targeted audience such as a store discount, a free training class or a free movie pass. Everyone likes incentives and they surely will provide added motivation for completing survey responses.

Strengthen your brand using surveys

Use surveys to learn how people perceive your logo, slogan, image, or brand. Based on the survey results you will make mission critical modifications to strengthen your customer base and innovate your brand.

Spark new ideas

Use a survey to test the response of an idea for a potential marketing campaign, brand or logo, implementing a new company policy for employees, or a new product idea. Polling may save you money and time and permit your limited resources to be better focused on making the new initiative more successful.

Give attention to non-responders

When people do not respond to a survey, that is also valuable feedback, albeit passive. If possible, follow-up with non-responders as they may provide invaluable insight that will benefit you.

Survey Feedback Iterate

Use the information provided from a survey's responses to help you construct another survey that will help you explore an area or topic in greater detail. Analyze which questions provided the most informative responses, which targets responded the best, and which portions of the survey were most invaluable. Learn from the results and your future surveys will be even more insightful.

Use plain, concise and direct language

If a survey responder does not understand a survey question, they will either skip or provide a best-guess response to the question. Inaccurate survey results will occur. Refrain from using technical words and descriptions. Refrain from using colloquial phrases and jargon and any language that may be ambiguous. Straight talk yields straight answers.

Use a survey with a reward program and giveaway

For your next promotional giveaway, contest, or drawing, consider incorporating a brief survey. For instance, you may use a survey for a rewards programs to gather feedback from your preferred customers. With such an incentive in place, your survey's response rate will be exceptionally high.

Current Data is Best

If you wait too long to receive survey results, the data may become stale and in turn the information become misleading. Our survey platform provides immediate delivery, instant access and real-time analysis of survey results.

Use surveys as feedback for senior management

Employees will be reluctant to provide honest feedback to senior management without fear of potential repercussion. Using an online survey may provide anonymity that will foster the confidence to provide honest feedback. By doing so, your employees will feel that their opinions are being heard and management will be better informed.

Leverage the power of internal surveys

While a survey is a great customer feedback tool, it is also a powerful resource for understanding what your employees or students or peers think and feel. Use an internal in-house survey to maintain healthy levels of communication and improve or maintain the high level of operation of your organization.

Last updated: 2011 December 31